At first Dwayne Allen was worried.
After drafting a tight end in the second round of April’s NFL Draft, the Colts went back to the same position and selected Allen with the first pick of the third round.
Not knowing where he would actually fit into an offense that had chosen a guy at the same position in the round before, Allen can now put those worries away thanks to offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.
“Initially it’s, where do I fit? Then when I found out that Bruce Arians was the offensive coordinator I knew exactly where I fit into this offense and where he sees me in this offense,” Allen said.
The Colts wrapped up their second practice in pads of the 2012 training camp on Thursday afternoon. Arians signaled out Allen as one of the players that has caught his eye early on in training camp.
“I’ve been really pleased with him. His strength is evident. It’s very hard for a young tight end to come in and block at this level, and he’s shown an outstanding effort and ability to do it,” Arians said.
“His pass catching is – everybody thinks of Coby (Fleener) as a pass catcher – but the guy has got really good hands, and he’s probably as sudden a guy with the ball in his hands as I’ve seen in a while at tight end.”
The two tight ends have served as a nice compliment to each other and provided quarterback Andrew Luck with a pair of big-bodied targets to look for in the passing game.
Luck and Fleener’s chemistry is well documented dating back to their days at Stanford and Arians has been impressed by the 6-foot-6-inch tight end’s ability in both the receiving and running game.
“More than anything, he can catch the football. But I’m really pleased with his in-line blocking and inside run drills. He’s been extremely good at the tight end position, and that was a pleasant surprise,” Arians said of Fleener.
One thing that Arians made clear on Thursday afternoon was he doesn’t believe you can strictly classify the two rookie tight ends as a ‘pass catcher’ and a ‘blocker.’ He believes both guys can do each, and expects them to.
“I think they’re both complete. They both can block, they both can catch, they can split out wide. Dwayne (Allen) is more suitable to put in the backfield than Coby (Fleener). Between the two, we can cover all our bases and be multiple in all our different sets without substitutions,” Arians said.
Throughout the early part of training camp, Luck has found his two tight ends often and both are expected to have a vital role in the offense.
It remains to be seen how Arians will use the two tight ends but he said it’s up to them more than anything now that the offense is almost fully installed.
“Most of it is how much they can handle. With their ability we can come up with different packages every week with two or three guys, and have them in a lot of places where we think we can create a mismatch,” Arians said.
“We found a good one with Coby (Fleener) and a linebacker in the red zone today. Andrew (Luck) found him for a touchdown. So it’s just trying to create mismatches with those guys, either lined up at tight end or out wide.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, bruce arians, Coby Fleener, dwayne allen
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